On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
- Did you tune-in to last night's debates? Record numbers of you took to twitter. But career feds were still left in the dark for specifics on what a second-term Obama administration or a Romney-Ryan ticket would actually look like. So how do the career folks prep? Click here for the full recap.
- Daryl Covey, an experienced service manager with over thirty-eight years of public sector service, brought together federal customer service managers from all lines of business. The group collaboratively generated a collection of customer service “best practices” for government employees. Covey shares his findings and the findings of these experts in his new book, Government Customer Service Standards. Click here for the full recap.
Three debates -- two presidential, one vice presidential. What are the take aways for people who do the business of government?
Last night during the debate, Twitter reported there were more than 7 million tweets.
We were among them, tweeting using the hashtag #DebateGov searching for topics that are government focused.
As always, we’d love to get your thoughts.
In general, of course, government management issues aren’t defining issues at debates. It’s unfortunate given that the President of the United States also serves as the CEO-in-chief of one of the largest organizations in the world.
Unfortunately, it seems to me, there has been little to provide government workers with an indication about what will come in the four years ahead... in terms of budgets... in terms of policies... in terms of priorities. One of the big frustrations for me has been the fight over budgets has largely -- and, in my mind, cowardly -- avoided discussion about what government should do... and what government shouldn’t do. That has resulted in budget battles but very little consensus about direction. And what typically happens is there is cut by CR where all programs see budget cuts. For years, we have done more with less... and often, it leaves programs underfunded and, by extension, they are troubled before they even get started.
Slate highlights what they called “Five Bad Ideas” in the debate.
One of them -- E-Verify
E-Verify: Mitt Romney is normally very upset about the potential job-killing impact of regulations, except when it comes to the idea of creating new and stricter regulatory supervision of who businesses are hiring! It's easy to see why investing extra resources in hounding potential unauthorized migrants out of jobs would be bad for the migrants and their employers, but high levels of immigration also turns out to boost the wages of native-born American workers, so there's just no reason to do this.
There is one debate left. It will focus on foreign policy, and most analysts expect the Libya attacks in Benghazi will be a significant area of discussion.
That being said, it is clear that these debates matter.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
- For the first time in history the Postal Service hit the borrowing limit. The Wall Street Journal reports the agency hit the $15 billion borrowing limit September deadline from the U.S. Treasury for the first time in its history, leaving the agency with only the revenue it takes in from selling stamps, shipping and other services to cover its operating costs.
- Sen. Tom Coburn, (R-Okla.), this week released his annual Wastebook report, which identified more than $18 billion in federal costs he said were wasteful this year, Federal Times reported. "Washington priorities are backwards," Coburn said in the introduction to his report. "This is why important programs go bankrupt while outdated and outlandish projects continue to be funded."
- House Republicans are rebuffing an attempt to address sequestration. Federal Computer Week reports, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) tried to call for Congress to return to work during the House's Oct. 16 pro forma session, but was rebuffed by Republicans, who quickly gaveled the House closed until Oct. 19. Connolly and Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) announced their plans to pose a parliamentary inquiry earlier in the day, saying they would ask whether the Speaker of the House has the authority to recall the House during the current recess to address sequestration.
- The U.S. Army spent $10.7 million on a conference in the District in 2010, about 13 times the amount paid by the General Services Administration for an event near Las Vegas in the same year that's been criticized by Congress, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. The Army also spent $10.6 million on the conference last year, part of $37.7 million paid by taxpayers in the past four years for 9,805 service members and civilians to participate in the annual gathering. The event, arranged by an outside group, is the largest professional development forum in which the service participates.
- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has assigned three officials to new posts with the Department of Defense's Office of the CIO, all of which will be based at the Pentagon, Federal Computer Week reported. Frederick Moorefield Jr. was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and assigned as the office’s director of spectrum, policy and programs. Mark Morrison was also appointed to the Senior Executive Service and will serve in the CIO office’s office as principal director for the deputy chief information officer for cybersecurity. And Brian Burns was named as principal director for the deputy chief information officer for information enterprise in the CIO office.
- The Government Accountability Office has rejected a contractor’s accusations of prejudice when the General Services Administration chose a competitor for a $1.3 billion contract to institute a new digital program for government travel. NextGov reports, CWTSatoTravel, or CWT, launched a formal protest with GAO, claiming GSA used unfair evaluations and conducted misleading discussions with its representatives while it bid to provide E-Gov Travel Service 2.0. The oversight agency, however, found no evidence to support the contractor’s claims.
- And on GovLoop, have you seen our new Path to PMF guide. The interactive website and guide designed to support prospective PMF applicants. Through 100% free online and downloadable resources (no, there is no catch!), the site pulls together insights from more than 60 current and former PMFs, 10 career advisors and agency program coordinators with blogs, videos and discussion forums that help prospective PMF applicants gain information and assistance to navigate every stage of the prestigious PMF application process. Check it out.
A few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder
- Treatment for tuberculosis in India. A thermostat that programs itself. A lifting device that could help cut workplace injuries. A tsunami barrier that automatically deploys when destructive waves approach. These are a few of the winners of this year's Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards. Many winning entries are aimed at improving quality of life—or even saving lives.
- MORE Americans than ever are using Amtrak, according to numbers the government-run railway company released last week. Ridership is growing at a steady 3.5% clip, and ticket revenues are the highest they have been. But Amtrak (like the interstate highway system and air travel) still requires government subsidies to operate—a fact that keeps it in congressional Republicans' crosshairs.